Friday, May 11, 2012

Doctor Fish


Garra rufa occurs in the river basins of the Northern and Central Middle East, mainly in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. It is legally protected from commercial exploitation in Turkey due to concerns of overharvesting for export. Garra rufa can be kept in an aquarium at home; while not strictly a "beginner's fish", it is quite hardy. For treatment of skin diseases, aquarium specimens are not well suited as the skin-feeding behavior fully manifests only under conditions where the food supply is somewhat scarce and unpredictable.

 The misleading information perpetrated by those who utilize Garra rufa in profitable ventures is that the Garra rufa actually eat dead skin but this is not strictly true, the filtration systems of tanks that have been analyzed have been shown to capture the skin.
During their activities of foraging they slough off dead skin. They are simply looking for food which in the wild consists of aufwuchs. In both marine and freshwater environments the algae – particularly green algae and diatoms – make up the dominant component of aufwuchs communities. Small crustaceans, rotifers, and protozoans are also commonly found in fresh water and the sea, but insect larvae, oligochaetes and tardigrades are peculiar to freshwater aufwuchs faunas.

Spa resorts

In 2006, doctor fish spa resorts opened in Hakone, Japan, and in Umag, Croatia, where the fish are used to clean the bathers at the spa. There are also spas in resorts in China, Belgium, the Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Bucharest and Sibiu (Romania), Madrid (Corralejo Fuerteventura Dr Fish) and Barcelona (Spain), France and Trondheim (Norway). In 2008, the first widely known doctor fish pedicure service was opened in the United States in Alexandria, Virginia, and later in Woodbridge, Virginia. In 2010 the first U.K. spa opened in Sheffield.[5] They are used to help treat patients suffering from various skin disorders, including psoriasis and eczema, since the fish will eat and remove any dead skin.
Legal status

The practice is banned in several of the United States and Canadian provinces as cosmetology regulators believe the practice is unsanitary, with the Wall Street Journal claiming that "cosmetology regulations generally mandate that tools need to be discarded or sanitized after each use. But epidermis-eating fish are too expensive to throw away".[6] The procedure is legal in Quebec, with a few clinics in Montreal.[7]
Garra rufa fish as pets

Before being outlawed in most U.S. states, the novelty of fish pedicures was viewed as a possible revenue enhancer for struggling nail salons, which had experienced less "luxury spending" from their regular clients during the recession. One New Hampshire salon owner who was shut down had assured local health authorities that she cleaned out fish tanks between pedicures and would never use the same group of fish with two different customers on the same day.[8] The state government still ruled the practice to be unsanitary.[9]

TV journalist John Stossel has ridiculed state laws against fish pedicures, arguing that they represent a case of the government becoming a "Nanny State", where individuals no longer can make their own decisions about their well-being. He participated in an "illegal" fish pedicure on his Fox Business Network program to illustrate his point.[10]

In the UK, the Health Protection Agency issued a statement on the 17th October 2011 warning that fish foot spas could potentially spread blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis and HIV if infected clients bleed into the spa water.

Content source:wikipedia

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